Steven L. Taylor
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective.
He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog).
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FIRST! Tick of the season! In my hair. This after a shower and shampoo (rinse, repeat) this morning. Little fucker wasn’t attached so it was easy enough to get it out with my comb. Threw it in the toilet and gave it a swimming lesson. I have been inside since before sundown yesterday so the bastard has been with me overnight. I don’t know which bloodsucker is worse. Ticks or chiggers.
My wife and I walked over to Camden Yards last night and took in our first Orioles game of the season. A wild ride, with the O’s besting the Angels 12-8, after being up 3, then down 4. Saw a grand slam homer, something you don’t get to see live very often. Two things came to mind. First, from the score you can tell there were a lot of hits and walks, and there were a lot of full counts and foul balls, which means there were a lot of pitches. Despite that the game came in at just over 3 hours. The speed up is working. The thing I notice most is that the batters don’t leave the box nearly as much or, obviously, for as long. Second, I was thinking about a way that baseball is different from most team sports: you can’t sit on a lead. Ultimately it is a batter by batter duel with a pitcher, and each and every time a new batter is up they can get a hit, a homer, or if patient enough, a walk. There is no way for a pitcher to play defense and keep the ball out of play (that’s actually called a “ball” and four of those advances the batter).
@Mister Bluster: I’m on my 3rd or 4th dozen ticks, they are really bad this year.
For my money, chiggers are the worst. The itching just doesn’t stop. I used to know a gal who told me about the time she and her boyfriend made love in a field of grass. As soon as she said that I knew where the story was going.
“Whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting.”
via Anne Laurie over at Balloon Juice comes this little gem:
Trump told Tucker Carlson that cops were weeping openly and copiously when he was brought into the court, and saying, “I’m so sorry, sir.”
Trump also said that it’s not global warming we have to worry about, it’s “nuclear warming.”
That’s actually kind of clever.
Inflation continues to cool.
@CSK: one of the reasons why Putin loved him… nuclear threats from him would have trump quaking in his shoe lifts.
I was out of participation for the last month due to fractured wrist (painful and awkward) so I may have missed a discussion of the leaked briefings out of the Pentagon. Here is a pretty good status of the story.
What Secrets Are in the Leaked Pentagon Documents?
There is a lot of information that was leaked that included info far beyond Ukraine.
My concern is who did it. A concerning possibility appears to be from someone high in the Pentagon with highest clearance.
I may watch too many cloak and dagger movies (just rewatched Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Season 2 of Slow Horses) but it occurs to me that there may be residual far right authoritarian people (like Lt Gen Flynn types) in the Pentagon that could justify betraying the US.
It is not as though Trump Administration didn’t try to convert political employees into actual civil servants at the end of his administration.
As someone who follows the discussions in this forum about weapons supplied to Ukraine but doesn’t know enough to have an opinion of my own, I found this Jalopnik article on the Rheinmetall Lynx Armored Vehicle (and why it is not a tank) interesting. YMMV, depending on nerdiness.
Mayor says Louisville shooter’s rifle ‘will be back on the streets’ under state law
Maybe Harlan Crow will buy it for his hall of sociopaths.
Stupidity is an infectious disease:
Want to work on any of the dozens of Arkansas State Boards and Commissions…kiss the ring, first.
Frankly…I imagine this will turn out to be BS…but in the meantime it’s just so delicious.
@daryl and his brother darryl:..kiss the ring, first.
Cabinet Members Gush Over Trump During Meeting
Warning: The vomit meter is stressed. Beware.
– Residual Trump Trash did it for money
– Residual Trump Trash did it because of some insane Q Anon reason
– Run of the mill traitor for either of the reasons above
– A spy (not a mole) got a hold of the documents because of poor security
– An ally (rather than a US person) who saw this presentation
– It’s a feint, and the allies have planted false info in it that will lead Russia to concentrate resources poorly in the upcoming Ukrainian counter attack
I have no opinion on which one, if any, turns out to be the case.
The thing that’s so ludicrous about Trump’s assertion that cops were sobbing and apologizing to him when he was arrested is that we saw the whole episode, and no such thing happened. One of the cops even let the door shut in Trump’s face.
I’m trying out Wondrium, the subscription service at The Great Courses.
It’s begun badly, with interface issues. It runs well on the PC, but gets stuck when trying to cast from there to the TV via Chromecast. The app for the TV works well, but has no pause feature*. Casting with the phone app does work, and it can be paused.
The phone app lets you stream either video or just audio. What I’m trying to determine is which lecture series need video and which don’t. Going by past experience with lecture series on audible, I know history ones don’t need video at all. I’m less sure about the science ones. If I can put them on audio in the ar and while cooking, they’d free up Audible credits for other books.
I do know I’m not in the mood to watch a lecture when I get home in the evening.
NPR is baling on twitter.
And Charlie Sykes is moving his short messages to Substack’s Notes. This could be a trend…
that should be bailing. No edit function.
I don’t know, there ought to be a “making hay on substack“ joke in there somewhere…
@Scott: “My concern is who did it. A concerning possibility appears to be from someone high in the Pentagon with highest clearance.”
My favorite theory, although I haven’t seen it repeated, was that given where the documents were posted and how little noticed they were, that it was the kid of someone with high clearance and bad data habits…
There is an article in the mornings NYT’s saying that docs first showed up on a Discord server that is a hangout for gamers.
He knows the whole thing is on video, right? Like, we saw when he was brought into the court. One of the cops didn’t even bother holding the door for him.
Trump actually does know it’s bullshit, but that doesn’t matter. The power is in the brazenness of the lie, the fact he can just do it whenever he wants, like grabbing a woman’s pussy.
He is, without question, the worst person ever to hold the office of the Presidency. It’s not even close. Nixon looks like a choirboy in comparison.
My daughter is in the process of writing and recording a multi-part series for them. The great part of this for me is their video recording studio is 20 minutes from my house, so whenever she does a recording they fly her here. She’ll be here for a whole week this summer!
I know! I pointed that out here @CSK: . It’s ridiculous. He had to know the procedure was being filmed. It’s as if he’s challenging us: “Who do you believe? Me or your lying eyes?”
@Mikey: your daughter is famous!
@Sleeping Dog: Yeah it was on a minecraft discord server for a month or so before anyone noticed.
Wouldn’t be surprised if it was someone’s kid trying to be cool. Who knows
You get that his fanboiz and gurlz get deep fakes and will simply match the explanation of whatever data there is to their prevailing worldview, right? Just checking. (And I really think we need to start leveling down on the confirmation bias and start ignoring him more. But that’s been my approach since early 2019 and YMMV.)
@Gustopher: She has 45,000 Instagram followers, which would make her a low- to mid-tier “influencer,” but she works in health and fitness and feels she can’t ethically accept payment for promoting specific products. She’s leaving a LOT of money on the table–she could conceivably get several hundred dollars per post and she posts several times a day–but I guess I raised her right and she puts her integrity first. 🙂
What subject is it on?
It seems likely the Minecraft group was not the first post containing the documents. Or at least some of them.
This Bellingcat article traces initial leaks to two servers predating the Minecraft post.
I highly recommend reading the whole piece.
I think it’s possible, if not likely, there are other documents from the same batch that have yet be reported.
@Matt: popular theory with some over at LGM. Someone’s kid trying to get online cred. I heard some intel person on a NPR podcast saying she thought an arrest was probably gonna happen pretty soon. Clues from super glue and a hunting rifle scope caught when the papers, which appeared to have been folded, were imaged. Very intriguing.
@Kathy: All your microbiomes–gut (a big thing these days), mouth, skin, even your belly button has a specific microbiome.
One thing about this process is it takes FOREVER. Like, she came out and recorded a preliminary thing a couple years ago, then another last year, now she’s on contract to do 10 or 12 episodes, but she’s not in “coming soon” yet (and believe me I look regularly, LOL). So the whole thing might not be up for another year.
Trump is suing Michael Cohen for 500 million dollars in damages.
I’ve had some doozies of hallucinations over the years (including one in 2015 when I was convinced it was 1974 and Nixon was still President), but this version of reality is certainly beyond me.
Presented for your consideration (and amusement)…
Parody Pics of Josh Hawley and Other GOP Twerps in Drag Going VIral
ETA – and I’m deeply appreciative of any copy editor who will use “twerp” in their headline.
@Flat Earth Luddite:
Yeah, you’re right. This is bringing a whole new dimension to the term “gaslighting.”
So far I’ve taken all Great Courses series off Audible, and I don’t pay any particular attention to how often new ones come out. Still, it sound slike par for the course for development to take forever.
Looking for suggestions from @de stijl or someone knowledgeable about edibles et al.
The side effects of my chemo include fairly severe neuropathy. The current solution for the nights when I can’t sleep is 15 mg hydromorphone. Doesn’t actually remove the pain but moves it down the hall to the spare room (letting me relax enough to rest.) * SWMBO asked if some form of vaping/edibles would be a more socially acceptable solution. I spent 40 minutes this morning at the local dispensary, and frankly I’m more confused than I was when I walked in. Remember, I come from the days of $25/lid for decent smoke.
* On a bad night, I wind up taking 1-2 of them, which has the side effect of leaving me posting here at 2am PDT because I’m too wound up to sleep. The 30-day supply usually lasts 10 months or so, but I’m really tired of the mandatory opioid addiction conversation with my doctor and pharmacist.
@Kurtz: I just want to reinforce what you say about “Thug Shaker” server,
AND, point out that Discord servers are not just a “kid” thing. I run a Discord server. I use it to chat with my kids, and trade music videos and other news tidbits with them. Because I hate Twitter so much. And for gaming.
Furthermore, people playing Minecraft are certainly not all “kids”. Maybe if you call a 40 year old a kid?
I would not at all conclude that it was a kid doing this. It could be, of course.
The Nintendo N64 launch was a watershed event in gaming. It was in 1996. That was 27 years ago…
Yet another entry in the EV race. This one looks fun (and Luddite or I might even be able to fit in it).
The gist I gather from the news is Cohen profited while making Benito look bad. IMO, a valid defense could be “he looked like that when I got here.”
Even if the Cheeto prevails, he won’t extract 0.5% of the sum he’s asking.
@Mikey: Congrats! Plenty of opportunities for spoilings!
@CSK: Of course he is. I can’t wait for Cohen’s counter suit to be filed.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: On the other hand, while cute, the price point (and difficulty with needing to charge it in my apartment building parking lot–where the nearest electrical outlet will be 1oo yards away, and in someone else’s apartment), it may just be “tiny houses” again.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
A number of positives and one, serious as in terminal negative. Acknowledging that this won’t be a winter vehicle in the northeast, the minimum recommended storage temperature is 25F. I guess I could heat the garage, but that would defeat the whole purpose in getting one. TBH, I could just heat the battery, but I suspect that would void the warranty.
The storage requirement is a weird one, we have 200 amp/hr of lithium batteries in the camper and while the warn you not to charge the batteries when the cabin temp is below 40F, there’s no temp limit for storage.
@Flat Earth Luddite: EEWWWWW! But hilarious, too!!
@Flat Earth Luddite: I can help with some neuropathy stuff. Mine is from a spinal injury, so things may or may not be different. For me, opiates do nothing. If I catch it before it gets too intense, 800 mg ibuprofen with 1000mg acetaminophen together can work wonders. The ibuprofen reduces swelling around the nerve, and the acetaminophen does what it does. For edibles: for me, it takes about 300-500 mg to do anything, and the higher dose means I am going to sleep for 8-12 hours and (hopefully) reset my body. Keep in mind I have a high tolerance from being an almost daily smoker for 15+ years and edibles don’t affect me as much as some. Good luck. Neuropathy can be terrible if the attack is bad. Pain in par with kidney stones.
@Jay L Gischer: Yes, I’ve been known to call a 40-year-old “a kid.” More specifically, “a mere child.” Been doing it since I turned 60 or so, no longer exactly sure when I started.
@Sleeping Dog: Garage? Oh yeah, I remember now. I had a place with a garage 44 years ago.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
Certainly better bet than the Solo* they’re showcasing at the mall. I provided about 1/2 hour of comedy relief as people watched me try to get into and (more importantly) out of the silly thing.
Thanks, the idea of actually sleeping normally instead of like a baby (1-2 hours, waking crying inconsolably, lather/rinse/repeat for 6 hours) sounds positive.
The gang at the shop were helpful but not too knowledgeable about what I was looking to use it for. My neuropathy is the result of 154 rounds of chemo over 3-1/2 years. At the time, a known side effect was nerve damage, especially in the extremities. On good days, my fingers and feet feel like they’re asleep. You know what the bad ones are like.
Currently, knowledgeable oncology patients are experimenting with icing and cold packs on hands/feet, to reduce blood flow to them (which seems to reduce the nerve damage). I knew I was doing a lot of damage, but wouldn’t change my decisions, as I’m still kicking 12 years post diagnosis.
@Just nutha ignint cracker: Whee!!! Someone called me a kid!
(Ahem, I’m on Medicare now, AND I run a Discord server.)
About the trump pandemic, it’s hard to say where we stand now.
The Johns Hopkins tracker stopped tracking on March 10th. Still, it shows about as many cases in some regions by early March 2023 as there were around April 2020, when the thing was just getting started.
There are differences. For one thing, the death figures are way down worldwide. this may reflect in part vaccination and prior infection, and also in part that the Omicron variant mix dominating now is less severe. Also perhaps advances in treatment, even in places where neither antibodies nor Paxlovid is available.
Me, I still wear a mask at work and when I go out. I’ve yet to go to a restaurant or the movies. If/when I make the trip to the Maya ruins, will be the first time since february 2020.
@Flat Earth Luddite: Yeah, but still $20k for anything that’s not the “base” model (at only $18)
@Flat Earth Luddite: sure. It can be bad. 95% of my life, I get the pins and needles like they are in the verge of being asleep like cut off of blood flow to normal linbs, but when they hit…
A sales manager of mine saw a bad hit for the first time on the sales floor and called me over…this is how the conversation went:
Him: “Mol, what the hell was that?”
Me: “bad neuropathy shock…I may be having an attack starting.”
Him: “you looked like you were about to die right there. Finish up the paperwork on your sale and go. If you need (co-worker) can give you a ride. I’ll take it from there”
Depending on you current/past usage, I’d start at a 75 mg dose, give it 15-20 minutes and go from there. If you take too much at once, the nausea and spins until you pass out are not fun.
(See guys, I’m not a constant and complete ass. Ha!)
@Jay L Gischer:
It could be a kid, I guess. But I don’t see why that would be anyone’s leading explanation. Other than gamer/Discord. But as you point out. That’s based on some false assumptions about gamers and how Discord is used.
The latter is much broader than just gamers. It’s been that way for years now.
@Kurtz: This is who it is. A fascist with a high clearance.
Later in the story:
Fucking garbage human who has done incalculable damage to America.
@Flat Earth Luddite:
Use a combination of Ibuprofen with Indica. Stay away from Sativa. Indica will relax your entire body and help you sleep. Sativa will open your mind and keep you wide awake. Think of it this way… Indica is a like Quaalude, whereas Sativa is like LSD. I use Indica to sleep, and when my back pain really flairs up, I use the Ibuprofen and Indica combination. The important thing is to figure out the sweet spot for your dosage. I started out with 5mg. It wasn’t enough. 10mg was better but not quite right. Eventually I figured out that my perfect dose for a good nights sleep was about 15mg. If I’m doing a hotel, I might bump it up to 20mg the first night. Your weight will have a bearing on how much you need. I have a friend on Chemo who takes about 30mg nightly to sleep, but he’s about 60 lbs heavier than I am. I’m 5-10, 185, and he’s about 5-11, 250.
@Flat Earth Luddite:
That’s my ride!!!! 4000 miles in, and I still freaking love it. And I still get waves and smiles every time I drive it. My 911 Cabriolet is up for sale because I have more fun in the Solo.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
It’s actually $15.5K. They’re no longer having to pay the Chinese tariff. Mine was $18.2, out the door.
@Mikey: A fascist with high clearance was always the most likely cause, but I was hoping for the random 12 year old kid of a sloppy general, because it’s a much funnier story.
I wanted a 12 year old to get grounded for harming national security. Maybe light treason.
“Dude, want to go set fire to a vacant house*?”
“Can’t, dude, still grounded for that treason thing.”
*: I have no idea what kids do.
@EddieInCA: honestly, with all due respect, this is more than about sleep. The pain he and I deal with is on another level than simple back pain (which I had for 16 years until my spine basically exploded and collapsed on itself) this is the nerves themselves not speaking to each other correctly due to damage of the receptor ends. When they hit your whole body can lock up and contort, lasting anywhere from 2-15 seconds with maybe a minute or less between them for bad attacks, lasting anywhere from 8-30+ hours. Not to mention the pain sweats. A bad, long running attack can wipe out your energy for the next day from the intense muscle contractions. Opiates, usually can’t even make a dent in the pain for bad episodes. I came close to ODing on hydrocodone one time trying to rely on them. The ibuprofen/acetaminophen mix can take care of about 75% of them in my experience and estimation, but if that doesn’t work, you need to totally blast yourself with a megadose of edibles to knock yourself out to reset things. As I mentioned though, I have a decent tolerance, but I wouldn’t recommend starting with any less than 40mg even for someone who hasn’t partaken in some time/never partaken. Then again, I am 6’1″ and about 240 with a naturally large frame. YMMV.
@Mikey: “she could conceivably get several hundred dollars per post and she posts several times a day–but I guess I raised her right and she puts her integrity first. ”
You call that raising her right? In some states you’d be up on child abuse charges!